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Washington Allston

American paintings rose to new heights with the works of Washington Allston. He had contributed to the society through his paintings as well as his poems.

Washington Allston was born in Waccamaw Parish of South California, Washington had pioneered the American Romantic movement of painting landscapes.

He had achieved great fame during his lifetime. He had experimented with the with the dramatic subject matters and the bold use of the light and atmospheric colors in the paintings.

Washington Allston Biography

Washington Allston was born on the 5th of November, 1779 near Georgetown in South Carolina. His mother was Rachel Moore and had married Captain William Allston in 1775.

Washingston Allston
Washington Allston

However, his father had died in 1781 after the Battle of Cowpens. Moore had then married Dr. Henry C. Flagg who was the son of a wealthy merchant living in Newport of Rhode Island.

He graduated from Harvard College in 1800. Before sailing for England in May 1801, he had moved to Charleston in South Carolina. He had been admitted to the Royal Academy Schools based in London. He started in September when the renowned painter Benjamin West was the president.

Early Life of Washington Allston

Allston had visited the great museums of Paris from 1803 to 1808 and then those in Italy for the later years. He had also met Washington Irving in Rome and Coleridge, who became his lifelong friend. Allston had married Ann Channing, the sister of William Ellery Channing in 1809.

Washingston Allston: The Opening of The Caske
Washington Allston: The Opening of The Cake

He had even tutored Samuel F. B. Morse, who accompanied him throughout Europe in 1811. Allston had settled down in London finally after traveling throughout western Europe. He had attracted a lot of fame and acclamation for the pictures.

Later Life of Washington Allston

Washington Allston was also quite renowned as a writer and had a lot of published works. He had published the Sylphs of the Seasons and others in London in 1813. The collection was also republished in Boston in Massachusetts in the same year. His wife departed in February 1815 and this made him feel homesick. He also felt quite sad and lonely.

Allston returned to the United States in 1818. Thereafter, he started living in Cambridge and did so for twenty-five years. He had also been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science in 1826.

Jared Bradley Flagg and George Whiting Flagg were his nephews and got the lessons of painting from him. The first exhibition that was made of the works of Allston was in 1827.

Twelve of the paintings that he had produced was shown at the Boston Athenaeum. Allston had married Martha Remington Dana, who was the sister of the renowned novelist Richard Henry Dana and the daughter of the Chief Justice Francis Dana.

Washington Allston: Recognition and Fame

She was also a cousin of his first wife. Allston had also published a romantic novel on Italian life, Monaldi in 1841. A volume of the Lectures on Art was also published in 1851. Washington Allston died in Cambridge on the 9th of July, 1843 when he was aged around 63. He was buried in Harvard Square between the Christ Church and the First Parish Church.

Washington Allston - Hermia and Helena
Washington Allston – Hermia and Helena

The style of the artist often resembled those of the great Venetian Renaissance artists. The paintings had the same display of dramatic color contrasts. The work greatly influenced the development of US landscape painting. The themes of many of the paintings were actually spun out of literature and Biblical references.

Washington Allston Objective Correlative

The artistic genius that he possessed was much appreciated and admired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Even Ralph Waldo Emerson got a lot of influence through his paintings. Even Sophia Peabody, wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller were influenced.

William Morris Hunt also admired the works of Allston and even founded the Allston Club in 1866 in Boston. He even passed onto the students the knowledge of Allston’s techniques through the art classes. The term Objective Correlative was first used by him in 1840.

Washington Allston Paintings

The term later was revived by T. S. Eliot and made famous through the essay on Hamlet. The term was used to denote a particular situation or object or even a chain of connected events that would be formulating the particular emotion. When the external facts are provided, the emotion would be immediately Evoked.

Washington Allston - Landscape with Lake

The neighborhood of Allston in the western part of Boston got his name from this famous poet and artist. Washington Allston had a lot of contribution to make to the society of artists and poets. His works left back a rich influence on many people and affected generations to come.